BARNET NEEL


Barnet (Barnabas) Neel (O'Neal) was apparently born in 1751, and died in November 1778, probably in Cumberland Twp., Greene Co PA, of smallpox. His wife, Mary (maiden name unknown), probably died in February 1779 in Cumberland Twp., perhaps with her newborn child. The three surviving children are named in the will and in the land records.
  1. Sarah Neel, married Samuel Harrod
  2. Henry Neel, married Elizabeth Vanmeter
  3. Barnet Neel, married Martha Hughes
  4. Infant, perhaps born and died February 1779

Parentage: Traditionally, Neel was said to have come from Loudoun Co VA. Several Neel families resided in that region, among them, a Christopher Neal who died in March 1757 in Cameron Parish. His wife, possibly the widow Ann Osborn, may have died in 1767, leaving "orphans" mentioned in tax lists. I am currently trying to find the names of Christopher's children - Thomas Neel appears to be the eldest. Traditionally, Barnet Neel had a brother Henry, but I have seen no documentary proof. There is a Christopher Neal in the same Revolutionary War militia unit in which Barnet served, however, Barnet's surname is O'Neal in that list. Constantine O'Neal served in Col. William Harrod's company, and he named a son Barnabas. There is also a Hugh O'Neal in Loudoun County who is a possibility for the father. Actually, I have no documentation that Loudoun County is the origin.
Documentation:

An Auditor's Account Book [VA Archives No. 25053, Rev Soldiers Aud. Acct. XV (15) A595] dated 24 Oct 1783 at Richmond, Virginia, lists among the Virginia Militia who served during the Revolutionary War, "Warrt. To Barnett O'Neal for d.o., 2.6.-" The ditto marks - "for his services". Other names on the list were Christopher Neal, Wm. Owens, Jesse Pigman, Thomas Johnson, Edward Murdock, and Henry Vanmeter. Many of these are obvious pioneers of Greene Co PA, but a review of pension records for some of the other men - Reuben Murray, Thomas Kincheloe, and John McMillian, suggest a contigent from Fauquier and Loudoun Co VA.

The will of Barnet ONeel is with the packets [#13 1/2] in the Orphans Court vault, Washington Co PA. The late Charles G. Stock, Law Librarian, determined while I visited July 19, 1989, that it had never been recorded in the ledgers, and he did so that day. "In the Name of God, Amen, I Bernard ONail of the State of Virginia and County of Monongallea Planter, being Weak in Body, but of sound mind and memory (blessed be God) do this Tenth day of November in the year of our Lord one Thousand seven hundred seventy eight, make and Publish this my last will and Testament, in manner following (that is to say - I Give and Bequeath unto my well Beloved wife Mary ONeel and to my Eldest Son Henry and to my Second son Barnet ONeel and Likewise to my Daughter Sarah ONeel and Give to a Child yet unborn of which my wife is now pregnant with all my Real and personal Estate to be Equally Divided Bitween them or the survivirs of thim - not as Joint Heirs but as Common, and I make and Constitute my Beloved wife Mary Oneel and my Good Friends Thomas Hughes and Thomas Johnston to be my Executors. In witness whereof I the said Barnet ONeel have to this my last Will and Testament set my hand and seal the Day and year first above written. Barnet His + Mark ONeel {seal}. Signed sealed by the said Testator to be his last will and Testament in the presence of us, Felix Hughes, Pd, Thomas Johnston, Pd."

[Orphans Court Docket, Book A1, p. 82, 5 Aug 1790] "Came into Court Thomas Huges one of the Executors of Barnett ONeil Deceased and produced an acct. Of his administration by which it appears that there is a Balance of L 44.2.10 1/4 in the hands of the said Executors subject to distribution according to the direction of the will." Note: This packet was not found in 1989. Charles G. Stock, Law Librarian, said that all but a few orphans court packets had been "stolen" and sold by a local antique dealer, so the packet may still exist.

[Draper MSS, Series NN, Vol. 4, p. 30 - Wm. Harrod Papers] - "October 22, 1776, Captian Harret, Sir, We understand that there has been A complaint made against our Captian (Mr. David Owens) at our lasat meeting and before he knew of the same he readly compilyd with the orders that he received; and as we chose him for our Captian we would willingly comply with any orders that his or our Superior officers may Transfer to him or us. But on Joining your Company we now [?not] willing. Any time that he receives orders or Ocation Serves to go in the Defence of our country 25 of us or the half of us is willing on condiditon we have the Capt we chose to lead us; as we have Intire Confidence in him and never Intend to forsake him untill we find some sufficent cause or some Dissafaction to his Country. And Captain Harrit we think there is as Competant judges among us Either you or Barney Neil we therefore Disire to have a hearing of the nature of of [sic] the complaint that is had against him for we can redily know the lielike milicious report that has been made of him to be intrely false and only the spiteful Detraction of some Evil Designing Persons which in proper time we think to make appear. So no more [?] till further tryal; but we Desire of you send report of our Disobediance pray send these few lines Enclosed and in so doing you will much oblige Captian Owen's Company."

At the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Dr. Raymond M. Bell located a petition to His Excellency, Governor Benjamin Harrison of Virginia, which was presented on 22 Jun 1782. "We the Petitioners Inhabitants of that part of Territory North of Masons and Dixons Line and West of the Laurel Hill seems to be considered by Pennsylvania to be within their jurisdiction and their Court authority; both by their Courts of Justice and Militia Law, has been actually to a considerable distance extended over us that have settled under the faith of Virginia and they pretend it is by your Consent ... you have not by Proclamation or otherwise given us Publick notice that you have cast us off and given us up to Pennsylvania. This makes us think that we are bound by our oaths not to pay elegiance to any other state untill we are discharged in a regular way from our former elegiance; for these reasons we have not submited to their authority until the line is settled and actually run ...." Barnet O'Neal, George Teagarden, and others on the Monongahela signed this petition. [Helen Elizabeth Vogt, "Genealogy and Biographical Sketches of Descendants of Abraham Teagarden," 1967, revised 1988, pp. 37-39.

On March 1, 1780, the General Assemby of Pennsylvania passed an act to gradually abolish slavery. All slaves were to be registered by the clerk of quarter sessions, and the first such list for Greene Co is dated 1782. Thirty-three slaves were registered, most of these in Cumberland Twp., but none were the buyers of the Barnet Neel slaves. Cousin Felix Hughes recorded 2 slaves; one was named "James". [Vertical file, Cornerstone Genealogical Society, no author listed].

A meeting of the inhabitants of the Town of Washington was held 25 Jan 1778 to determine whether it was proper to introduce the smallpox innoculation into their families. One vote "yes," twenty-six votes "no". [Miscellaneous Historical Papers from the LeMoyne House, Vol. III, p. 175, in Keyhole, The Genealogical Society of Southwestern Pennsylvania, Vol. XXII, No. 2, Apr. 1994, p. 66.

[Roll 984956, Application for Warrant, arranged by date, 18 Apr 1785, Washington Co PA] - "Sarah Neale, Henry Neale, & Barney [overwritten Barnabas] Neale Applies for Three hundred Acres of Land ["wilsan Miss"? written above] upon Shepards Run on the West side of Monongahala River adjoining Willm Sheppard Thos. Roach Keener Suton [overwritten "ea"] in Cumberland Township Washington County. --?-- from -- March 1780 ss. Washington County. We the subscribing Justices of the peace for the County of Washington do Certify to the Suratory of the Land Office for the State of Penna. the land above described applyed for hath been setteled & improved & the improvement was made in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred & eighty. Witness our hands & seals this 2d Day of Feby. 1785. Levi Harrod, John Minor."

[Roll 1028809, Warrant #8, Washington Co PA - abstracted] - Whereas Sarah Neale, Henry Neale and Barnabas Neale have requested to take up 300 acres, including an improvement on Sheppards Run on the west side of the Monongahela River, adjoining William Sheppard, Thomas Roach, and Keener Seaton, in Cumberland Township, County of Washington, they agree to pay ten pounds per 100 acres, interest to commence from 1 Mar 1786. This shall be your warrant, etc., sealed 18 Apr 1785. John Dickinson, Esq. Order to John Lukens, Esq., Surveyor-General. Note: This was returned 26 Aug 1793.

[Survey, Washington Co PA - Vol. N, 267] - Sarah, Henry & Barnabas Neal, 249 acres and 64 perches. Drawing of survey made 10 Aug 1785 in pursuance of a warrant dated 18 Apr 1785 for land called Turkey Flat, situate on Shepherds Run. David Redick, Deputy Surveyor. Neighbors were William Shepherd, Thomas Adamson, Thomas Roach, Thomas Scot, Thomas Craig, and Elias Flanegan. Note: Drawing is also in The Horn Ppaers, Volume III, by W.F. Horn, 1945.

[Patent P3-110,111,112,113; P17-346, Washington Co PA] - Patent to land issued 4 Jan 1794, to above land, said tract now called "Union" to Samuel Harrod & Sarah his wife, Henry Neal, and Barnabas Neal. It states that this was Sarah Neal, since intermarried with Samuel Harrod. Etc.

[Papers of Continental Congress, 1774-1789, Series M247, Roll 62, Item 48, Memorials of People in Illinois, Kaskaskia, and Kentucky, 1780-1789, pp. 251-3] - Petition (with a map) to form a new state, from inhabitants of the west side of the Laurel Hill Mountains, delivered to Congress Jan. 1783. The document itself has no date. Among the nearly 1000 who sign are included: "William Herrod, Samuel Herrod, Benjamin Lemmon, Felix Hughes, Henry Neal, Barney Neal, John Hughes" all in order, with Henry, Joseph, Jesse, and Absalom Vanmeter just a couple names above. Note: The typed list of same, entitled "Two Lists of Early Residents in Southwestern Pennsylvania," by Helen L. Harriss, C.G., 1984, is full of transcription errors. In the above alone, she skips Jesse Vanmeter, and has Absalom as Abraham. Mrs. Harris believes that this is a door to door list. The surnames Roach, Swan, and Pigman, are all nearby.


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